Perched on the east coast of Maui, and located in the valley between the West Maui mountains and the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, Kahului is not only the island’s premier shopping mecca and home to the state’s second largest commercial airport. It’s also rich in natural wonders and cultural icons, making this relatively unvisited part of Maui a real gem.
Although tourists often look past spending any time in Kahului when landing on the island, instead deciding to head to the popular West or South coast, visitors that do stay around are rewarded with abundant shopping and quiet, less crowded beaches.
Kahului is also a popular base from which to embark on a small plane or helicopter tour of Maui and the surrounding islands, as well as the Kilauea volcano.
Over 6 million passengers pass through Kahului every year, the largest town in Maui, and all cruise ships dock at the Kahului Harbour, located right in the middle of town.
The Kahului Harbour is located in the town centre, and is within easy walking distance to numerous restaurants, cafés, supermarkets and bars.
Kahului Harbour is well equipped to handle large volumes of incoming passengers. A number of facilities are located just off the pier.
- Public toilets
- Wi-Fi enabled cafés, restaurants and bars
- Supermarkets and shopping mall
- Visitors Information Centre.
Just outside the harbour, passengers can take a taxi or rent a car to explore attractions outside of Kahului.
How to Get Around
Kahului itself is easily explored by foot as most sights and attractions are within walking distance from the harbour.
However, a number taxis and car hire booking offices are located just outside the harbour if you wish to explore the rest of Maui.
Public buses and shuttle services also run between the city centre and the local airport.
Travel times from the harbour:
- It is a 7 minute journey to the Aloha Friday Farmers Market
- It is a 12 minute journey to the Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is a 20 minute journey to the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
- It is a 10 minute journey to Kahului Airport (cost is around USD$13-15 by taxi)
- It is a 5 minute journey to Kanaha Beach Park (cost is around USD$5 by taxi).
- Currency – The local currency in Hawaii is the US dollar which comes in 1c, 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, and $1 coin denominations, and USD$1, USD$2, USD$5, USD$10, USD$20, USD$50, and USD$100 note denominations. Most places accept credit cards, and multiple ATMs can be found around town.
- Time Zone – Kahului operates on Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST), which is 10 hours behind Coordination Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather – As Maui is a tropical island, Kahului enjoys mild weather all year-round. The average daily temperature hovers around 28 degrees Celsius, and is a little warmer between May and October, and a little cooler between November and April.
- Aloha Friday Farmers Market – Held every Friday between 12pm and 6pm, this local market is the place to be to purchase fresh local produce sold directly from the farmers themselves. The market is located on the campus lawn and inside the Paina Building of the Maui Community College.
- Kanaha Beach Park – Popular with local windsurfers and kiteboarders, Kanaha Beach Park is a lifeguarded beach that’s located directly behind the Kahului Airport. It is a white sandy beach that has toilets, showers, barbeques and picnic facilities onsite.
- Maui Arts and Cultural Center – Easily Maui’s best venue for the visual and performing arts, the world-class Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) features a 5000-seat amphitheater and is home to the Schaefer International Gallery. Located in the centre of town, the MACC regularly plays host to a number of concerts, films, and events. The MACC offers free entry for most of the exhibits in the Schaefer Gallery.
- Kanaha Pond State Wildlife Sanctuary – Covering over 143 acres of wetlands and home to 3 endangered bird species (the Hawaiian coot, the Hawaiian duck, and the Hawaiian stilt), this National Nature Landmark serves as an important breeding area for birds in the area. It is located roughly 10 minutes from the harbour in the direction of the airport. Admission is free.
- Lao Valley – A perennial favourite with nature lovers, journey to Lao Valley and lose yourself in the wild greenery around you. A 15-minute drive west of Kahului, the valley boasts the stunning Lao Needle, a natural rock formation that towers 1,200 feet above the valley. Open from 7am till 7pm daily, you can enjoy different views of the area by visiting at different times of day.